GWENT cycling star Becky James is relishing her Commonwealth Games battle against Olympic champion Anna Meares and British teammate Jess Varnish in Glasgow this summer.
James, who won two gold medals at last year’s World Track Championships in Belarus, had to settle for two bronze medals in Colombia last month – in the keirin and in the team sprint alongside Varnish.
But the Abergavenny ace, who won two medals at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealths as an 18-year-old while Meares won two golds, is relishing another battle with the experienced Australian in Scotland.
“The Commonwealth Games is going to be a big target for Anna,” said James.
“She has dominated them in the past and will be coming here all guns blazing, so it will be great competition.
“The Commonwealths is an important event and target for me and I found Delhi an incredible experience.”
Varnish will also come into the equation having beaten James in the world individual sprint in Cali last month.
“It’s funny because you’re friends off the bike and when you’re training, but as soon as you’re on that track you’re the worst of enemies,” said James.
“We are all competing against each other but it’s a little bit different when we are representing England and Wales and it will push me a little bit more.
“It is only once every four years I get to represent Wales and I can’t wait.
“It’s strange because it does not come around very often and Delhi seems like a lifetime ago.
“But I remember wearing that Welsh jersey and it’s a different feeling to when you represent Great Britain.”
James will not be able to compete in her favoured keirin event, however, as it’s not on the Commonwealth schedule with only the individual sprint and 500m time trial open to the 22-year-old.
“They are only two sprint events for the women and they are not my favourite,” admitted James.
“I love the keirin and would love for it to be in the Commonwealth Games.”
James was talking at the official launch of the routes of the British Road Championships, which are being held in Monmouthshire in June.
Welsh representatives include world team pursuit gold medalist Elinor Barker, Newport’s Jon Mould and Risca’s Sam Harrison.
Sprint star James will not be competing but hopes to witness the racing just a month before the Commonwealths start.
“We have such amazing roads and scenery so it should be an exciting week of racing,” added James.
“The roads for the national championships are where I grew up riding and the huge support you get from the crowds and riding in such a beautiful place is so inspirational.”